If you are a small business owner who can’t answer the question “What is a buyer persona?”, set aside a couple of minutes to read today’s blog — it will supercharge your marketing strategy. In this blog post, we take a closer look at marketing personas, from a basic definition to easy instructions on how to create one.
What Is a Buyer Persona?
When you create a marketing strategy, you don’t want to just throw things at the wall and see what sticks — you may not even have the time and the resources to do that.
A buyer persona helps you bring your marketing into focus and allows you to put out a message that resonates with your customers, taking the guesswork out of your marketing efforts.
We know what you’re thinking: “That’s all fine and well. But what is a buyer persona?”
Simply put, a buyer persona (also known as customer persona, marketing persona, or audience persona) is an imaginary person that represents the needs and basic characteristics of the customers you want to target
For example, this may be the buyer persona of a bookstore located in the fictional town of Pleasantville.
- Name: Jim
- Age: 30 to 45 years old
- Where does he live? Downtown Pleasantville
- Pain points/Challenges: Feels Pleasantville could have better cultural offerings
- Interests: Literature, history, music
- Spending patterns: Buys books during the weekend, when he’s off from work
One quick note: when we talk about “pain points,” we refer to the problems your customers face. This is important because if you can solve people’s problems you’re on the right track to succeed in the world of business.
How to Create a Buyer Persona?
The process of creating a buyer persona comes down to five basic steps:
- Glean consumer information
- Analyze the information you obtained
- Create buyer persona (or personas)
- Use your personas to inform your marketing
- Update your persona, or personas, as necessary
In order to be useful, a buyer persona has to be an actual representation based on facts.
Begin by gleaning information from existing customers using either surveys or casual conversation.
Combine the answers you obtain with the data you can get using tools like Facebook Audience Insights and Google Analytics. Merging all these sources will allow you to create a more detailed picture of your current and potential customers.
Analyze this information and find common factors. You may find that you have more than one type of customer. It’s OK: you can have more than one buyer persona.
Make sure to include this information for every buyer persona:
- Pain points/Challenges
- Spending power
- Spending patterns
Once completed, a buyer persona is a powerful tool that helps you be more intentional with your marketing.
For example, let’s suppose you own the fictional bookstore of the example mentioned earlier. You know that “Jim” feels that his community is underserved when it comes to cultural activities, so instead of something generic, your ads may say something like: “Stay connected to the big ideas moving the world. Stop by Pleasantville bookstore today.”
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